As part of the National Restaurant Association's Kids Livewell Initiative, 19 chains across the United States have ensured that your bratty kid will never again whine incessantly for another kids meal.
These fast food places -- among them Burger King, IHOP, Chili's, and Outback -- have pledged to make a full kid's meal (entree, side, and drink) under 600 calories and consisting of at least one portion fruit, vegetable, whole grain, lean protein, or lower-fat dairy. They'll also have to follow sodium, sugar, and saturated fat restrictions.
Miami's own Burger King, specifically, will offer a 4-piece chicken tender meal with fat-free milk and BK Fresh Apple Fries. Of course, kids will always have the option of switching over to French fries, if it pleases their juvenile palettes.
So, what are they really getting from switching over to the healthier meals? Is this the solution to child obesity? Will kids start counting calories and go into mini rages if they're served one more apple fry than fits their new healthy kid lifestyles?
We went to a couple local Burger Kings and asked a few customers what they thought.
For Emile Gilbert, who has five children and seven grandchildren, the flavor of a greasy, fried Burger King meal isn't something to be messed with. "It tastes good, my kids love it, and I love it."
He thinks that reducing calories is ideal, but only if the food will keep tasting good. Besides, fries aren't even the real culprit. "I prefer the French fries over the apples. It's the sugar you need to stay away from."
Santos Rivera, on the other hand, takes his kids to fast food chains as rarely as possible. He prefers to take them to places like Green Tomato, in Orlando, or Golden Corral where he can more easily balance their meal. "I would come to Burger King because I'm not a cook and I'm a bachelor. But when my kids are with me, I don't bring them here," he says. "You get 13-year-old girls looking like they're 16 off this shit, you know there's a problem."
Even the apple fries are on his black list. "We don't even know what process they go through before getting here."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Others don't even consider the apple fries when ordering. Lesley Hughes only takes her three kids to fast food restaurants on occasion, and they usually share a couple of "non-kid" meals.
"We don't come here for apples. If we want to buy apples we go to Publix," she says.
Her 12-year-old son Phillip has never tried the apple fries at Burger King, but has tried the oranges that they offer at Wendy's. "I prefer the fries."